Industrial Explosion Accidents

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Industrial Explosion Accidents | 0 comments

In April of 2013, a warehouse where around 40 to 60 tons of ammonium nitrate was stored exploded immediately after it caught fire. The explosion, which registered a 2.1 magnitude on seismographs, took the lives of 14 individuals and leveled a whole neighborhood.

An explosion releases scorching heat and the balls of flame; its thick, black smoke can suffocate and kill, and the ear-piercing loud noise it produces and powerful shock waves can knock down doors and walls, and smash glass doors and glass windows. The injuries it can cause include severe burns, fractured bones, lacerations, lung injury, loss of limb/s, traumatic brain injury (TBI), trauma or shock, or death. Explosions are extremely damaging and damages can even be much more severe , with more lives placed in danger if it occurs in oil rigs, manufacturing facilities or industrial factories.

Ammonium nitrate is one type of substance that is very much prone to explode if handled incorrectly. Despite the regulatory oversight the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has over fertilizer warehouses, many of these warehouses, which do not have a sprinkler system, continue to store ammonium nitrate in wooden bins. This poor storage system, the huge gap between federal and state regulations on the rules on how to prevent explosions, the lack of clarity in OSHA’s standards on the operation of ammonium nitrate storage facilities as well as the laxity in the enforcement of whatever standards have been set, and volunteer firefighters’ lack of preparation for fires at chemical facilities, should have made authorities see that any of these warehouses could soon be consumed by a deadly fire and explosion.

However, since many of these fertilizer plants and warehouses in rural America have been in existence for decades, they often get overlooked by government authorities, making the storing of large amounts of a potentially combustible substance a continuing threat to the lives of workers and nearby residents. Despite its threats, government regulation for fertilizer-storage facilities, compared to power plants, refineries and other larger polluters, remain to be lax.

According to Williams Kherkher, despite being relatively rare, industrial explosions are very dangerous occupational hazards faced by workers. Besides the serious physical injuries these can cause, these also leave majority of victims struggling with substantial medical bills that they may not be able to pay. Due to this, it becomes necessary for victims to pursue legal action – to file a civil lawsuit against the liable parties or firm for the compensation that they and their families will definitely need for their future.

Often, in industrial explosions, the liable party, as explained by Milwaukee personal injury attorneys, are employers, whose act of negligence often results to poorly designed plants and/or warehouses that lack safeguards against potentially dangerous accidents and acts of nature. These safeguards include a sprinkler system and proper ventilation within the warehouse. Workers injured in a warehouse fire may see the necessity of contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately in order to learn more about their legal options.

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